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Orange takes steps to fight fake news with blockchain

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Orange, France’s largest telecoms company, has signed up with to fight fake news by using blockchain to authenticate that press releases originate from the company. French blockchain startup Block Expert created the solution.

By clicking on the green button, users can see which verified company has posted the press release. Authenticity is perhaps less of an issue with press releases on a corporate website. However, it is possible to create a fake website. The more significant challenge for authenticity is that announcements are often syndicated across newswires where it may be possible to fake the source.

Ultimately it also is down to journalists to verify where announcements come from.

This isn’t the first time that this sort of tool has been used in France. In November 2017 EDF Energy released a system for the same purpose. With terror attacks in France around that time and the vital role of utilities, the need for verification is clear.

The solution is a little different in that it is not designed for a single company. Instead, the blockchain is “consortium-based”.

“I am very proud that Orange is taking this initiative to contribute in the fight against fake news that has become a major affliction of our time,” said Beatrice Mandine, Executive Director, Communications and Brand, Orange. “Orange’s communication will now benefit from Block Expert’s blockchain solution that fits perfectly alongside our key watchwords: trust, security and innovation.

“We are very excited to be working with Orange on such an important societal issue,” said Benjamin Gievis, co-founder of Block Expert.

Not just for new

These sorts of initiatives apply beyond pure news. For example, Poland’s largest bank PKO Bank Polski uses blockchain to verify that product regulation documents sent to customers originate from the bank. And in Austria, EY is helping Vienna authenticate government-issued documents such as bus routes.